A new approach to the resection of pulmonary osteosarcoma metastases: Results of aggressive metastasectomy

C. L. Snyder, D. A. Saltzman, K. L. Ferrell, R. C. Thompson, A. S. Leonard

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Pulmonary metastases are the primary cause of death from bone and soft- tissue sarcoma. Recognition that even multiple resections of metastases can improve survival has led to a more aggressive surgical approach to these patients. The authors instituted an aggressive approach and a new technique and retrospectively analyzed the results of multiple, pulmonary metastasectomies for pulmonary metastases in 34 patients, 21 of whom had osteogenic sarcoma (OGS). A number of cases were referred from other institutions, where they had been considered inoperable because of extensive or recurrent disease. Using lateral thoracotomies, laser technique with minimal parenchymal excision, and thin gloves for palpation, aggressive metastectomy was carried out. A mean of 3.1 thoracotomies were performed, with an average of 10.6 nodules resected per thoracotomy. Operative morbidity and mortality were minimal. Evaluation of potential prognostic factors revealed no statistically significant survival difference on the basis of disease-free interval (DFI), number of nodules resected, number of thoracotomies, or size of largest nodule resected. There was a clear trend toward decreased survival of patients with larger nodules (> 2 cm), but because of the small number of patients in this group, no firm conclusions can be drawn. Five-year survival was 49% for the study group as a whole, and 39% for the OGS patients. Aggressive surgical resection of pulmonary metastases from bone and soft-tissue sarcoma should be considered when there is control of local disease, no evidence of extrapulmonary metastasis, and adequate postresection pulmonary reserve. The presence of bilateral, extensive, or recurrent disease is not a contraindication to thoracotomy. Resection of multiple nodules or extensive bilateral disease appears to prolong survival of patients with metastatic sarcoma, as compared to historical controls. Similarly, repeated thoracotomy and resection for patients with recurrent metastases may also prolong survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-253
Number of pages7
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
Issue number270
StatePublished - 1991


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